The economy has taken a hammering recently for reasons no one could have predicted, and many small business owners have felt the hit. At times like these, it can be difficult to see past the end of the month in terms of keeping a business afloat, but others are able to use challenging times to their advantage. With a creative approach, thorough research, and careful planning, times like these can be opportunities for diversification and growth. The key to success is identifying where that opportunity lies, and how to take advantage of it. Here are three strategies that small businesses should consider when trying to expand their operation.
1.Maximize revenue from existing customers
It is a generally accepted concept that it is much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to attract a new one. With this in mind, consider delving into your customer base and segmenting the market through analysis. Find out which customers are buying from you regularly, what they are buying, and when they are buying. With this information, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that are relevant to the customer and arrive at the time of the week/month they are more likely to make a purchase. You can also find out their age, gender, geographical location, and general buying habits to determine whether they might be potential targets for a new product line.
2.Expand your product range
When you have one or two successful products or services, you can explore the possibility of expanding your product range. However, before you throw money and time into a concept, you need to find out whether your target customers want it and how much they would be likely to pay for it. Is there a profit in the product? Will it be in demand all year or on a seasonal basis? Your market research should be thorough before you invest in a new product, and you need to be sure how much manufacturing and distribution will cost. You may, for example, need to invest in new machinery such as replacement conveyor belts for the new product line, which will eat into your profits straight away.
3.Take your product to a new market
Alternatively, you may choose to take the product(s) or services you already have and target a new market. This could mean setting up a store in a new city or state, or distributing to a new country, or you might decide that your product could appeal to a demographic of customer. For example, a travel bag that you have marketed to young professionals could be perfect for a new mother as a baby bag with just a small design tweak.
Thanks to the Internet, there are more sales and marketing channels available to businesses than ever before. With the right digital marketing strategy, businesses can tap into brand new markets all over the world with little cost. From website search engine optimization to social media advertising, click here for more on digital marketing strategies.